Rochelle Mercedes GarzaRunning For:ATTORNEY GENERAL
Claudia ZapataRunning For:U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 21
Greg CasarRunning For:U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 35
Jay KlebergRunning For:COMMISSIONER OF THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE
Susan HaysRunning For:COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE
Janet DuddingRunning For:COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
Luke WarfordRunning For:RAILROAD COMMISSIONER 2
Dana HuffmanRunning For:TEXAS COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS PL. 5
Rebecca Bell-MetereauRunning For:MEMBER, STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, DISTRICT 5
Judith ZaffariniRunning For:STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 21
Robert WalshRunning For:STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 25
Erin ZwienerRunning For:STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 45
Justin CalhounRunning For:STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 73
Michelle Gutierrez CohenRunning For:HAYS COUNTY – COUNTY COMMISSIONER PRECINCT 2
Kelly HigginsRunning For:CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY HAYS COUNTY
Ruben BecerraRunning For:HAYS COUNTY – COUNTY JUDGE
Elaine BrownRunning For:HAYS COUNTY – COUNTY COURT AT LAW NO. 3
Elaine CardenasRunning For:HAYS COUNTY – COUNTY CLERK
Daphne TenorioRunning For:HAYS COUNTY – COUNTY TREASURER
Beth SmithRunning For:HAYS COUNTY – JUSTICE OF THE PEACE PRECINCT 2
Sandra BryantRunning For:HAYS COUNTY – JUSTICE OF THE PEACE PRECINCT 5
Erin A. NowellRunning For:JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT, PLACE 3
Amanda ReichekRunning For:JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT, PLACE 5
Julia MaldonadoRunning For:JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT, PLACE 9
Rosa TheofanisRunning For:JUSTICE, 3RD COURT OF APPEALS DISTRICT, PLACE 4
Jimmy Alan HallRunning For:HAYS COUNTY – COUNTY COURT AT LAW NO. 1
Running For: stateGOVERNOR
Beto O’RourkeBIOBeto O’Rourke is a fourth-generation Texan, born and raised in El Paso where he has served as a small business owner, a city council representative and a member of Congress. He founded and currently leads Powered by People, a Texas-based organization that works to expand democracy and produce Democratic victories through voter registration and direct voter engagement. Powered by People has helped register over 250,000 unregistered Texans to vote since its inception in December 2019.
Beto is married to Amy O’Rourke and together they are raising Ulysses, Molly and Henry in El Paso’s historic Sunset Heights.Office DescriptionThe governor of Texas is the chief executive of the state and is elected by the citizens every four years. The governor must be at least 30 years old and a resident of Texas for the five years immediately before the election.
The governor makes policy recommendations that lawmakers in both the state House and Senate chambers may sponsor and introduce as bills. The governor also appoints the Secretary of State, as well as members of boards and commissions who oversee the heads of state agencies and departments.
The constitutional and statutory duties of the Governor include:
Signing or vetoing bills passed by the Legislature.
Serving as commander-in-chief of the state’s military forces.
Convening special sessions of the Legislature for specific purposes.
Delivering a report on the condition of the state to the Legislature at the beginning of each regular session.
Estimating of the amounts of money required to be raised by taxation.
Accounting for all public monies received and paid out by him and recommending a budget for the next two years.
Granting reprieves and commutations of punishment and pardons upon the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles and revoking conditional pardons.
Declaring special elections to fill vacancies in certain elected offices.
Appointing qualified Texans to state offices that carry out the laws and direct the policies of state government. Some of these offices are filled by appointment only. Others are ordinarily elected by the people, but the governor must occasionally appoint individuals to fill vacancies. The governor also appoints Texans to a wide range of advisory bodies and task forces that assist him with specific issues.
Running For: stateLIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
Mike CollierBIOMike Collier was born and raised in rural America where he learned the importance of family, freedom, and hard work. The Colliers established roots in Georgetown in Williamson County, which at the time was a small town of just 7,500. As a student, he quickly developed a life-long love of music and became a state renowned trumpet player in the Georgetown Eagles marching band.
Like all the Collier children, he went on to a Texas public university, attending the University of Texas at Austin where he marched in the Longhorn Band and met the love of his life, Suzanne.
After graduating, Mike became a Certified Public Accountant and an auditor at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, later building a successful Texas energy company as its CFO. Today, he guides companies as they make investments in renewable energy. All throughout, Mike helped Texas companies create good paying jobs.
Mike first entered politics for one reason: to fight for Texas public schools. After seeing money gutted from our public schools year after year, he put his career aside to run for office and hold our state leaders accountable. Because of his extensive experience as an auditor, he knows the Texas budget like the back of his hand. Mike knows why our schools are underfunded and he has a plan to fix it without raising taxes on ordinary Texans. For instance, by closing just one corporate tax loophole that benefits big corporations, Mike would increase funding for Texas schools by nearly $5 billion.
Honest, sensible, and fighting for Texas families — not corporations and lobbyists.
Mike’s passion for Texas extends beyond public education. He believes that we need to fix our damn grid, that healthcare is a human right, that Black Lives Matter, that income inequality and climate change pose grave threats to the future of Texas, and that state government ought to prioritize the needs of working families — not just the well-connected. Mike will fight for every Texan, in every county — regardless of where you live, your race, or your income-level.
In 2018, he ran a historic race for Lt. Governor against Dan Patrick — running the closest race for Lt. Governor in nearly two decades and outperforming the top of the Democratic ticket in ⅔ of Texas’ counties.
Since then, he has continued to serve as a watchdog on the State Legislature by ensuring that they deliver on their promises made to Texas teachers and retirees, and in 2020, Mike was President Biden’s Senior advisor for the State of Texas and go-to surrogate to deliver President Biden’s message of hope, decency and competent leadership across the state.
It’s the love and support of his college sweetheart and wife for thirty-two years, Suzanne, and his two grown sons and a daughter-in-law who live and work in Texas, that keep Mike fired up to fight for a better Texas.Office DescriptionThe lieutenant governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of Texas, a state in the U.S. It is the second most powerful post in Texas government because its occupant controls the work of the Texas Senate and controls the budgeting process as a leader of the Legislative Budget Board.
Under the provisions of the Texas Constitution, the lieutenant governor is president of the Texas Senate. Unlike with most other states’ senates and the U.S. Senate, the lieutenant governor regularly exercises this function rather than delegating it to the president pro tempore or a majority leader. By the rules of the Senate, the lieutenant governor establishes all special and standing committees, appoints all chairpersons and members, and assigns all Senate legislation to the committee of his choice. The lieutenant governor decides all questions of parliamentary procedure in the Senate. He or she also has broad discretion in following Senate procedural rules.
Running For: stateATTORNEY GENERAL
Rochelle Mercedes GarzaBIORochelle Garza is a civil rights attorney and 5th generation Texan from the Rio Grande Valley. She believes that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, everyone deserves a fair shot to get ahead.
Rochelle Garza has practiced immigration, family, criminal defense, and constitutional law. Her work has had broad impacts, like the “Garza Notice,” a requirement that teens in immigration detention have a right to abortion care.
As Attorney General, Rochelle will fight for Texas families.Office DescriptionState Attorneys General are the top law enforcement officers in their state and serve as the people’s lawyer — a representative for the public’s interests.
AGs have the power to hold politicians accountable for any wrongdoings and can promote justice and equality by advocating for policies that benefit our communities. AGs can champion voting protections, reproductive rights, accessible health care, and more — and that’s exactly what I intend to do.
Running For: federalU. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 21
Claudia ZapataBIOThe daughter of working class Tejanos, Claudia grew up cleaning toilets with her abuelita at UT Austin, picking citrus, and caring for her abuelito at in-home hospice. She was raised to believe in the Texan values of family, hard work, and taking care of others. Claudia developed policy at the Texas Capitol as a legislative aide, is an active volunteer and community organizer, and served all Texans while working as a workforce & budget analyst for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.Office DescriptionA congressperson is elected to represent the people living in their district at the federal level. Representing takes the form of different duties such as legislating, serving the people via constituent services and education, and–most importantly–giving back. The powers of Congress range from being able to declare ware to approving treaties negotiated by the executive branch to approving presidential appointments to office. Your Congressperson is your amplifier and public servant.
Running For: federalU. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 35
Greg CasarBIOGreg is an Austin City Council Member and movement organizer who has supported working families from San Antonio to Hays County to East Austin. The proud son of Mexican immigrants, Greg has passed policies to protect families from being separated, raised wages for thousands of workers, and has successfully fought to expand civil rights protections. In Congress, Greg will fight and deliver for working families, passing Medicare for All, protecting reproductive rights, and fixing our power grid.Office DescriptionThe representative elected to this seat will be a member of Congress, and their job is to pass laws at the national level. I believe our members of Congress should be serving working people, not corporations and special interests.
Running For: stateCOMMISSIONER OF THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE
Jay KlebergBIOJay Kleberg grew up in an agricultural community, born and raised on a working ranch in South Texas. Growing up, Jay developed a deep respect for the land and the meaning of hard work. He learned that our individual freedoms do not negate our responsibility to one another. Those values have helped define his career as Associate Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, documentary film producer, and co-founder of the startup business Explore Ranches.
Jay is running as a Democrat for Texas Land Commissioner to put the focus of the GLO back to where it belongs: respecting the land, funding our children’s future, and being a responsible steward protecting the public and economic health of Texas.
Jay serves as a Director of Texas Lyceum, a non-partisan civic engagement group, an Advisory Board Member of the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, a Board Member of Flatsworthy, a grassroots conservation organization on the Texas cast, the Past-Chair of Texas Water Trade, and a Board Member of the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation. Jay earned his Master of Business Administration from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Jay lives in Austin with his wife, Chrissy, and his three daughters, Sophia, Katherine, and Amelia.Office DescriptionThe General Land Office oversees and manages Texas 13 million acres of public lands to protect our state’s land and economy. As Land Commissioner, I will manage Texas’ publicly owned lands and help diversify revenue sources for the Permanent School Fund, which helps finance our public schools. The Land Commissioner also chairs the state’s Veterans Land Board, which provides low-interest property loans for qualifying military veterans and oversees state veterans’ homes and veterans’ cemeteries.
I’m running for Texas Land Commissioner because I believe that climate change is real and we don’t have time for inaction. Climate change is a threat to the state we know and love, and Texas– more than any other state–has the ability to lead the way in addressing the climate crisis.
Running For: stateCOMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE
Susan HaysBIOI’m running for Agriculture Commissioner because corruption is bad for business. No one trusts the incumbent to do what’s right for Texas. Farming is hard, but ethics should be easy.
I grew up in rural Texas in the middle of ranching and hunting country. But like many of my generation I left for the city to get an education and make a living. My law practice took me to advising cannabis producers and businesses, and pushing Texas to open the door to this high-value crop with the hemp program. I welcomed the opportunity to get back to the country and find a way to make an income off the land again. Working on the roll-out of the hemp program, I started hearing rumors of corruption. Folks talking about having to pay thousands of dollars to get a hemp license which sounded pretty strange to me because I knew the law was intended to make things easy and affordable on farmers.
Then, the Commissioner’s political consultant got arrested for trying to sell hemp licenses for $25,000.
Licenses that cost $100 and are available to anyone.
And that made me mad.
I’m a fifth generation Texan. Relatives died at the Alamo. I know what Texas has been, and I know what Texas could be if we purge the government of corruption and work together to build rural Texas back up.Office DescriptionThe Texas Commissioner of Agriculture serves as the head of the multidivisional Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), a legislative state agency. The commissioner oversees all issues concerning and related to agriculture and rural community affairs. These topics can span from security of water resources, to consumer protection, to border security initiatives, and to economic development. The commissioner serves a four-year term with no limit on the number of terms served.
Running For: stateCOMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
Janet DuddingBIOMy first job out of college was investigating allegations that elected officials were embezzling taxpayer money or taking kickbacks. I helped lay the groundwork for “Operation Pretense,” which put 50+ politicians in prison for procurement corruption.
I moved on to audit counties and cities and school districts and state agencies. I have spent my adult life in governmental audit, accounting, administration and even investigations.
As a single mother, I averaged 20 hours a semester while I earned my accounting degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. I earned my MBA from Millsaps while working full time for the Office of the State Auditor and became a CPA (certified public accountant). But I’m not the kind of CPA you come to see to file your federal income taxes in April. I’m the kind you come to see to find out if your taxes are well spent.
I don’t like paying taxes and it makes me mad to see my tax money wasted. I really get mad when I see our money misused.
The Comptroller of Public Accounts is the sole accountant for the state of Texas and has the bully pulpit to hold state government accountable for how our taxes are spent.Office DescriptionThe Comptroller of Public Accounts is the state’s accountant. It refers to itself as “CPA.”
I’m a governmental Certified Public Accountant with over 35 years of state and local governmental audit, accounting, administration and even investigations.
The Comptroller handles all the state’s money – in/out/and invested. Payroll – Comptroller. Procurement – Comptroller. Compliance over money-matters – Comptroller.
The Comptroller has the bully pulpit on state finances – and we need somebody willing to speak up when we’re not spending smart. As an example, for over a decade, we’ve been told we can’t afford to expand Medicaid when we’re spending $100m MORE to DENY comprehensive mental/physical healthcare to 1.4 million adult Texans.
Running For: stateRAILROAD COMMISSIONER 2
Luke WarfordBIOLuke was raised by his mother, a preschool teacher, and his grandfather, a pediatrician, who taught Luke about the value of helping others. Luke’s dad owned a CD store, and when technology changed and the store had to close, Luke saw first hand the impact a changing economy can have on a family.
Most recently, Luke ran one of the largest voter registration programs in Texas history. During Winter Storm Uri, Luke saw Texas values in action – Texans quick to help their neighbors get through the storm. And he was also enraged by the failure of Texas’ elected officials to take responsibility or look out for Texans.
Luke studied economics and political science because he understood how the intersection of those two fields have such a significant impact on people’s lives. He started his career as an organizer on the 2012 Obama campaign, but has spent most of his career in the private sector, working to help businesses grow and create more jobs around the world while also remaining accountable to their customers.Office DescriptionThe Texas Railroad Commission is a state executive agency in the Texas state government. Despite its name, the commission does not regulate railroads, but instead regulates the oil and gas business in Texas.
Historically, the railroad commission has been a very powerful office. OPEC, the Middle Eastern oil cartel, was originally modeled in part on the commission. According to the Texas Tribune, the agency has also been a launching pad to higher office.
Running For: judicialTEXAS COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS PL. 5
Dana HuffmanBIOStephen F. Austin State University B.B.A. 1989; Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M) J.D. 1994; Native Texan from a family of public school educators; Presiding Municipal Judge, Magistrate and Prosecutor for over 20 years, College of the State Bar, Pro Bono College of the State Bar, Former Faculty for T.M.C.E.C.; Board of Director for animal rescue non-profit; 8 years for City of Richardson Animal Shelter Advisory Commission.Office DescriptionThe Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is our state’s highest appellate court for criminal cases. They have discretion to hear some cases and mandatory jurisdiction for capital punishment cases. This court is critically important because it considers cases that have affected a person’s constitutionally protected rights that can result in loss freedom and/or capital punishment.
Running For: stateMEMBER, STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, DISTRICT 5
Rebecca Bell-MetereauBIOSBOE member teaches film & English TxState, directs Media, 73-75 Peace Corps K-12, interpreter Air Force relief Chad, Fulbright scholar Senegal, taught U. Nebraska. BA, MA & PhD, Indiana University. Videos Children & Pregnant Women, Worth the Wait, wrote 4 books, 16 chapters, 29 articles, 12 refs, 100+ papers. Asst to Pres., TXST, Ford Foundation grant on diversity, media literacy, K-12 workshops. Teaching/service awards, Faculty Senator, TFA. Mom of 2 girls, volunteer SCMISD, for interdisciplinarity, diversity, critical thinking, civics, research, VocEd, art, climate science.Office DescriptionSBOE primarily entails oversight of curriculum and text selection, charter school approval, and management of the Texas Permanent School Fund; it also includes many other duties and opportunities. Board members can sway public opinion, help people locate the right resource to address complaints or seek help. Through our responses, meetings, and talks with constituents, we help educate citizens about important issues. SBOE also has oversight and input in the process of rewarding the many educators, parents and students who work hard throughout the year to improve education and quality of life for all Texans. The relationships I have with fellow board members are key to furthering our progress.
Running For: stateSTATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 21
Judith ZaffariniBIOSenator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) represents the 21st Senatorial District, which stretches from the Rio Grande to the Colorado River and to the Port of Corpus Christi and the Valley. Re-elected in 2016 in a ninth landslide victory, she is the first Hispanic woman elected to the Texas Senate, the second highest-ranking senator, and the highest-ranking woman and Hispanic senator.
Judith Zaffirini and Her Family
Her appointments provide countless opportunities to champion the priorities of SD 21, the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale, which has generated billions of dollars in economic activity for our state. As Senate Chair of the Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus, Senator Zaffirini prioritizes the district’s continued prosperity, and as Vice Chair of the Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee and member of the Energy Council since 2009, she promotes responsible, sustainable development of Texas’ energy resources. She also helps protect and conserve the district’s air, land, and water resources such as the Rio Grande, the Edwards Aquifer, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Through the State Affairs Committee, she addresses issues such as bond issuances and eminent domain, and through that committee, and, as a member of the Judicial Council and the Texas Access to Justice Commission, she champions preventing cronyism and corruption in the legal system, promoting access to justice, and protecting persons under guardianship. As a member of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, she advocates for large and small Texas businesses and workers, and as a member of the Senate Administration Committee, she prioritizes issues of importance to local governments in the 18 counties of SD 21. Health care is a major industry in the district, and as an expert in the health and human services policy and funding, Senator Zaffirini advocates for improved health services, especially for the very young, the very old, the very poor, veterans, and persons with disabilities.Office DescriptionThe Texas State Senate is the upper chamber of the Texas State Legislature. Alongside the Texas House of Representatives, it forms the legislative branch of the Texas state government and works alongside the governor of Texas to create laws and establish a state budget. Legislative authority and responsibilities of the Texas State Senate include passing bills on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes.
Running For: stateSTATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 25
Robert WalshBIOOver the course of my career, I have run several businesses–some of my own and some for others. I have the skill set to make the State Government actually work for the people they represent. I grew up in Central Texas. My mother was an educator in Dripping Springs; my father helped the City of Austin make wise decisions with their money. I am not a career politician. I will take zero contributions from corporate interests. This is a purely people-powered, grassroots campaign. I humbly ask for your vote.Office DescriptionThe Texas State Senate is the upper chamber of the Texas State Legislature. Alongside the Texas House of Representatives, it forms the legislative branch of the Texas state government and works alongside the governor of Texas to create laws and establish a state budget. Legislative authority and responsibilities of the Texas State Senate include passing bills on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes.
Running For: stateSTATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 45
Erin ZwienerBIOErin is an author, educator, and conservationist who is currently serving her second term in the Texas House. She founded and chairs the House Caucus on Climate, Environment, and the Energy Industry and is the only member of the Texas Legislature with a professional background in environmental conservation. Erin is also a founding member of the House LGBTQ Caucus.Office DescriptionMembers of the Texas House and the Texas Senate make the laws for the state of Texas. This includes setting the state budget for education, health care, and social services. We also create laws for everything from criminal justice to child welfare to sexual harassment to minimum wage. Our work effectively bridges the federal government and local governments, touching almost every part of folks’ lives.
Running For: stateSTATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 73
Justin CalhounBIOJustin Calhoun grew up in Marion, Texas, in a single-parent household. He had to drop out of high school to take on a full-time job to help support his family. He then completed high school on time through an advanced learning program, joined the US Army in 2010, deployed to Afghanistan in 2012-2013, and was then medically retired in 2015, returning home to Texas to pursue a master’s in social work. During his education, he has worked closely with people struggling with homelessness, Veterans, juvenile justice, Texas legislature, and most recently, dialysis patients. He graduated with his master’s in December of 2021.Office DescriptionThe Texas Legislature considers proposed laws, resolutions and any constitutional amendments for submission to voters. They also appropriate all funds for the operation of the Texas government.
Running For: countyHAYS COUNTY – COUNTY COMMISSIONER PRECINCT 2
Michelle Gutierrez CohenBIOBorn in Austin, I have lived in Hays County for a combined 30 years. I currently work as a Trainer for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and have over 20 years of supply management experience. I am a former state purchaser and contract manager. I have a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in finance, Master of Business (MBA) and a Doctorate of Management of Organizational Leadership. I am the founder of Hays Latinos United, current member of the Facilities and Bonds Commission of Hays CISD, current PTA President of Tobias Elementary, former member of the City of Kyle ethics commission and participant in 2 school rezoning commissions. I am the 2021 recipient of the MLK Community Service Award, former democratic precinct chair, former chair of the Hays Democratic Candidate committee and 2021 nominee for the HABLA Latina leadership award. I am married with 4 children and currently reside in east Kyle.Office DescriptionThe county commissioner is in charge of their precinct’s roads and bridges, as well as making policy and budget choices. The commissioner’s court consists of four commissioners and the county judge, who are chosen by a quarter of the county’s population.
Running For: countyCRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY HAYS COUNTY
Kelly HigginsBIOI grew up in Houston, went to college at SMU, and then University of Texas School of Law. Since 2002 I’ve worked in Hays County courts, defending clients’ Constitutional rights, learning how things work in our county, and coming to understand what Hays County needs from its District Attorney.Office DescriptionThe Criminal District Attorney is a part of the Executive Branch of our County government, responsible for prosecuting criminal cases in our courts. The DA decides which cases to pursue, and sets policy regarding case resolutions. The DA leads a staff of attorneys who conduct the prosecutions.
Running For: countyHAYS COUNTY – COUNTY JUDGE
Ruben BecerraBIOJudge Ruben Becerra, a long-time resident of San Marcos, is the first Latino Hays County Judge in its 170+ year history. Judge Becerra was the Chair of the San Marcos Art Commission and San Marcos CISD Bond Oversight Committee. He was also President of the San Marcos Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos. He served on the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission, Parks and Recreation Board, San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, and was a Board Member of the Texas Bobcat Athletic Foundation. He continues to proudly serve on the Gary Job Corps Community Relations Council.
As Hays County Judge, he served on the Capitol Area Council of Governments Executive Committee, CAPCOG Criminal Justice Executive Committee, and the Central Texas Clean Air Coalition Board. He is currently serving on the NACo Justice and Public Safety Policy Steering Committee, the CARTS Board of Directors, and the Hays County Election Board. He is Chair of the Hays County Election Commission, Records Management Officer, Chief Budget Officer, Director of Homeland Security, and Director of Emergency Management.
During his term as Hays County Judge, he has created a Criminal Justice Task Force, an Elections Citizens Advisory Commission, a Mental Health Hospital Task Force, the Council for the Indigenous and Tejano Community, and a Citizens Advisory Commission for Redistricting.
Judge Becerra recently celebrated his 29th wedding anniversary with his wife, Monica. She owns a medical supply business providing prosthetics and orthotics to military veterans and breast cancer survivors. They have two sons. Ruben Jr., who works for an IT company in Austin and Cristian, who manages the family’s food and beverage businesses.Office DescriptionAs County Judge I am the presiding ofﬁcer of the Commissioners Court, represent the county in administrative functions (contracts, grants, plats, and other official county documents) and serve as the county’s budget officer. I am also the Director of Emergency Management and Director of Homeland Security. County Judges also have broad judicial duties, such as presiding over misdemeanor criminal and small civil cases, probate matters and appeals from the Justice of the Peace Court.
Running For: judicialHAYS COUNTY – COUNTY COURT AT LAW NO. 3
Elaine BrownBIOSince her graduation from Texas Tech University School of Law, Elaine has handled cases involving criminal defense, mental health commitments, juvenile defense and other civil matters. She has experience with many practice areas, including her work as an administrative law judge with TEC, staff attorney at Coastal Bend Legal aid, the municipal prosecutor for the City of Victoria, and in private practice. Elaine is also a Licensed Professional Counselor and this aids her ability to quickly assess situations and to act fairly and compassionately within the law.Office DescriptionHays County Court at Law #3 adjudicates cases involving probate, juvenile matters, criminal misdemeanors and some civil suits. This court has been designated as the mental health court and will have a docket for individuals who are being diverted from the criminal system into mental health programs. It is important to have a judge who is experienced and motivated to implement the necessary programs to make this court a success.
Running For: countyHAYS COUNTY – COUNTY CLERK
Elaine CardenasBIOElaine Cardenas has been Hays County Clerk since 2018, when she won the position decisively from the Republican incumbent. Prior to that, she worked for many years as a senior executive for several national social policy research and management think tanks, including Gallup. Her MBA and PhD have served her well in modernizing the office and upgrading the management practices to keep pace with the county’s rapid growth and changing demographics. She is ready to take on the challenges ahead.Office DescriptionThe County Clerk records important events, including births, deaths, and marriages; maintains historic records such as wills and deeds; and provides support to the Commissioners Court and the lower courts. Millions of dollars pass through the County Clerk’s Office, which generates significant income for the county. The records serve important personal and national purposes, making their security essential, a task complicated by the growing threat of fraud and cyberattacks.
Running For: countyHAYS COUNTY – COUNTY TREASURER
Daphne TenorioBIOMy name is Daphne Tenorio. I am proud to be running to be your new Hays County Treasurer. It’s time for a leader!
As a Kyle City Council person, I made tough decisions on procurement, contract negotiations, bond refinancing and most importantly the budget. I consistently voted against excessive spending.
With over twenty-five years of experience as an accountant and small business owner, I understand budgeting, procurement processes, bond financing/investing and fiscal soundness processes.
Guarding OUR money. Lowering OUR Taxes. Keeping YOU informed…that’s my promise to YOU.Office DescriptionThe Hays County Treasurer is the liaison between the County and depository banks. Working with the Hays County Auditor’s Office to maintain an accountable checks and balances system.
The Treasurer is designated as the County’s investment officer.
Treasurer’s Office prepares County payroll, and receives and deposits all County revenue, dispersing funds on the order of the Commissioners Court, financial accounting processing and reporting.
The Office manages the District Court Compliance office, setting up and reviewing defendant payment plans.
Additional admin duties are assigned to this position.
Running For: countyHAYS COUNTY – JUSTICE OF THE PEACE PRECINCT 2
Beth SmithBIOI’ve been the Justice of the Peace for 23 years. I attended Criminal Classes at ACC and basics at TSU. I now have over 1500 hours of Continuing education classes. This is a position that I eat, sleep and breathe. It’s a life style and not a job. I have a very supportive husband of 45 years, 3 Children and 5 grandchildren. I was the 1st Mayor of Mt City for 14 years and have volunteered on over 17 nonprofit boards that prepared me for this position and to gather resources necessary to do it effectively.Office DescriptionThe Justice of the Peace is a 24/7/365 job that handles too many duties to list. the most common are: Class C Misdemeanors, Small Claims under $20,000, Debt Claims, Dangerous Dog hearings, and we are ex officio coroners. We attend all deaths within our own pcts to determine manner and cause, (including Trauma or immediate deaths at the hospitals or other health facilities) Magistrate duties in juvenile warnings, and if necessary, settings bonds. There are so many more duties that are too numerous to list.
Running For: countyHAYS COUNTY – JUSTICE OF THE PEACE PRECINCT 5
Sandra BryantBIOSandra Bryant is excited to announce her candidacy for the office of Hays County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5.
A former two-term Hays CISD School Board Trustee, Bryant believes this is the right moment to enter politics again — but, as a peacemaker and not just as a politician.
Bryant is committed to serving our community. She served two terms on the Hays CISD School Board of Trustees. She believes that our children are our future, and she has continued to work for them in many organizations including serving on numerous PTAs and now as president of the Hays CISD Council of PTAs. Being involved in our community has always been important to Sandra and she has served on the Board of Hays Caldwell Women’s Center, and numerous organizations such as the Buda Lions Club, Buda Police Foundation, Summer Pointe HOA and Keeping Communities Connected.
Bryant believes that a justice of the peace must be fair to all parties. Her educational background in both law enforcement and a master’s degree in counseling provide her with the necessary foundation to apply sound judgement in making the decisions that will affect people’s lives. Bryant would be a justice of the peace who listens carefully to people’s concerns and gives deliberate consideration to everyone.
Bryant understands that the office of justice of the peace is not simply about wearing a black robe and sitting on the bench, handing down decisions, and conducting marriage ceremonies. In Hays County, our justices of the peace have a tradition of serving our community in many different ways.
Bryant has the courage and compassion to serve as your Justice of the Peace.
Bryant hopes she can gain the support of voters in her new endeavor to serve our community in a new role.
Sandra is married to Ray Bryant and they attend Vertical Chapel. Office Description
Running For: judicialJUSTICE, SUPREME COURT, PLACE 3
Erin A. NowellBIOJustice Erin Nowell serves on the Fifth District Court of Appeals, Place 5, an appellate court that reviews criminal, civil and family cases from Dallas, Collin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman and Rockwall counties.
Justice Nowell was first elected in 2018 to a six-year term. She is seeking the 2022 Democratic nomination for Texas Supreme Court. Prior to her service on the bench, Justice Nowell was a trial attorney and law firm partner for 15 years.
As an attorney, Justice Nowell was selected as a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star from 2015-2017. She was also named one of the National Bar Association’s Top 40 Advocates Under 40, and was honored with the 2018 Texas Women Lawyers Brenda Tso Rising Young Lawyer Award.
Justice Nowell is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Texas School of Law. She is active in numerous professional organizations, the community, and the Democratic Party.Office DescriptionThe Supreme Court of Texas (SCOTX) is the court of last resort for civil matters. It is responsible for the efficient administration of the judicial branch and is authorized to proclaim rules of administration for the efficient and uniform administration of justice in the various courts.
Running For: judicialJUSTICE, SUPREME COURT, PLACE 5
Amanda ReichekBIOJustice Amanda Reichek was first elected to the Fifth District Court of Appeals in 2018, where she has authored hundreds of well-reasoned opinions, while serving on the panel of hundreds more. She has a reputation for being well-prepared, humble, and for working collaboratively with her colleagues and the greater legal community.
Justice Reichek is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law, and before she joined the court she spent much of her legal career advocating for the rights of employees and labor unions.
Justice Reichek is a proud native of Houston, where she graduated from Westbury High School. She graduated with Sociology and Political Science degrees from Texas Tech University before attending graduate school at North Carolina State University with the intention of becoming a sociology professor. While in graduate school, Justice Reichek grew increasingly passionate about the labor movement, and eventually decided she could serve the movement best by becoming a lawyer.
In 2003 she graduated, with honors, from Texas Tech University School of Law. During law school, she clerked for the Houston Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO and Texas Rural Legal Aid, a non-profit law firm that advocates on behalf of migrant farmworkers.
Following law school, Justice Reichek worked for several prominent employment law firms and eventually started her own practice. Throughout her private practice, Justice Reichek represented exclusively employees and labor unions.
In her free time, Justice Reichek enjoys what her fiancé calls “kitchen experiments,” playing with their three-legged dog Rudy, and Pilates. Office DescriptionThe Supreme Court of Texas (SCOTX) is the court of last resort for civil matters. It is responsible for the efficient administration of the judicial branch and is authorized to proclaim rules of administration for the efficient and uniform administration of justice in the various courts.
Running For: judicialJUSTICE, SUPREME COURT, PLACE 9
Julia MaldonadoBIOJulia Maldonado is the Presiding Judge of the 507th Family District Court in Harris County. Judge Maldonado was elected to the 507th District Court in the November 2016 election. She is the past Administrative Judge – Family Law Division of Harris County and out of the ten family court judges, Julia is the senior judge.
Judge Maldonado was born in Nuevo Leon, Mexico and came to the United States as a child. She arrived as a permanent resident and has been a United States Citizen for over forty-nine years. Judge Maldonado was raised in the Heights neighborhood and she now calls Houston her hometown!
Judge Maldonado is a product of Houston ISD public schools having attended Robert E. Lee Elementary, Cooley Elementary, Hamilton Jr. High and John R. Reagan High School. After graduation from high school, she went on to pursue an accounting degree from the University of Houston–Downtown and a law degree from Thurgood Marshall School Of Law.
Prior to being elected in November 2016, Julia was a practicing attorney at the J. Maldonado Law Firm, P.C., which she started in 1998. The J. Maldonado Law Firm, P.C. was a general legal practice firm, representing clients in Texas state and federal courts in the areas of immigration, criminal-defense, family, tax, and probate matters. Prior to establishing the law firm, Julia was a solo practitioner.
Judge Maldonado has been licensed to practice law for over twenty (20) years and practiced for eighteen years before first being elected Judge in 2016. During her years of practice as an attorney, Judge Maldonado had the privilege to appeal several cases to Texas Court of Appeals and a case to the Texas Supreme Court.
Prior to Judge Maldonado becoming an attorney she worked as accountant in the construction industry for over fifteen (15) years.
Judge Maldonado has been a member of the State Bar Of Texas since 1998 and is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2012. Judge Maldonado is a member of The College of the State Bar of Texas, the Houston Bar Association, the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston and has been a member of the Pasadena Bar Association. During 2013-2014, Judge Maldonado served as President of the Mexican American Bar Association She was also a Board Member for the Pasadena Bar Association from 2009 to 2011.
Judge Maldonado is a member of the University Area Rotary Club. Prior to being elected, Julia was of counsel for the Rotary Firefighter Home Project.
Judge Maldonado is the proud mother of two adult sons, a daughter-in-law and two adoring grandsons.
Judge Maldonado participates in many community services, including but not limited to presentation of continuing legal education seminars, mentorship programs, and participates and volunteers in various community projects with the Rotary Club.
Now considering the importance and need of diverse and qualified jurists at the highest level of the Texas judicial system, Judge Maldonado announces her candidacy for the 2022 Democratic Primary for Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, Place 9.
Judge Maldonado brings her diversity, integrity, transparency, legal and judicial experience as a candidate for the office of Texas Supreme Court Justice.
Judge Maldonado wants to serve the people as Texas Supreme Court Justice, Place 9 and is asking for your support and vote. Texas Matters!Office DescriptionThe Supreme Court of Texas (SCOTX) is the court of last resort for civil matters. It is responsible for the efficient administration of the judicial branch and is authorized to proclaim rules of administration for the efficient and uniform administration of justice in the various courts.
Running For: judicialJUSTICE, 3RD COURT OF APPEALS DISTRICT, PLACE 4
Rosa TheofanisBIORosa has been a licensed attorney for close to twenty years. For the last nine years, her practice has been almost exclusively appeals. She has litigated more than one hundred appeals to successful outcome, including in both civil and criminal cases.
Rosa, her husband, and their two children live in Austin, Texas. She enjoys running, reading and exploring the Hill Country with her family.Office DescriptionThe intermediate courts of appeals provide a forum for those who have tried their case at the state court level to have the proceeding reviewed. Justices hear appeals in panels of three and are responsible for applying the law impartially. The courts of appeals provide an essential safeguard for the rights of individuals to fairness and due process and also safeguard the fairness of the system as a whole.
Running For: judicialHAYS COUNTY – COUNTY COURT AT LAW NO. 1
Jimmy Alan HallBIOJimmy Alan Hall is an experienced, well-respected, and reliable attorney who will be an excellent judge. He earned degrees from the University of Texas in architectural studies, public affairs, and law.
Over the last 40 years, he did Texas legislative redistricting, was an environmental attorney for the State and a municipal prosecutor, championed environmental protection, and represented numerous clients in administrative and civil matters.
Jimmy Alan is running for County Court No. 1 because he cares deeply for his community, is fair and pursues justice for all, and will provide a more efficient, transparent, and agile court under increasing demands. Jimmy Alan’s caring for his community is reflected in his work for local community organizations such as the Imagine for All and Imagine Wimberley charitable nonprofits and Wimberley Valley Radio, his leadership roles in his church, his involvement in Wimberley Democrats, and mentoring students from Texas State and Wimberley ISD. Jimmy Alan has never met, and will never meet, a person with whom he does not want to chat, laugh, and share. He earns respect from all sides of issues through his even mannered and collaborative nature, through which he became a certified mediator and a trained collaborative law attorney. Using his analytical skills from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Jimmy Alan sees solutions and improvements in the judicial system and asks, “Why not?” He sees several changes in the Hays County judicial system that will improve the efficiency and transparency in the administration of justice and avoid the harms of “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
Jimmy Alan works hard and works smart, and he will work hard for everyone as a judge.
He made the oath to conduct himself with integrity and civility in addressing and communicating with all parties when becoming an attorney and will do the same with the oath he plans on taking when being sworn in as the next judge for Hays County Court at Law No. 1.Office DescriptionThe Office of Hays County Judge Court at Law No. 1 is a trial judge.
This office is very important because this judge conducts trials and makes decisions on issues that are very close to the everyday lives of many people and businesses.
Hays County Courts at Law hear civil disputes in which the amount at issue exceeds $500 but not $250,000.
These courts also handle probate, guardianship, mental health, and eminent domain proceedings and have concurrent jurisdiction with Hays County District Courts in family law cases and proceedings. These types of cases address the very personal issues of health, familial relationships, death, and the government’s taking of a person’s property.
On criminal matters, these courts also preside over Class A and Class B misdemeanors, which are often cases when the alleged offender has the first, and hopefully last, encounter with the Texas criminal justice system.